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Transcript: The ReidOut, 5/24/21

Guests: David Cicilline, Grant Woods, Marq Claxton, Anne Applebaum>


GOP leaders are silent on Representative Greene`s offensive remarks. GOP Representative Greene compares mask mandates to the holocaust. At least eight GOP House members are under scrutiny. GOP Senator Rand Paul says he won`t get vaccine. Belarusian regime used fake bomb scar and fighter jet to detain dissident journalist.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: There was talk that Donald Trump could ultimately cooperate but maybe not in the way you think, flipping to blame others and not admitting any culpability. We thank each of our witnesses for joining us.

That`s it for THE BEAT tonight. "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid is up next. Hi, Joy.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: How are you doing, Ari, thank you very much, learn something new every night. Have a great evening.

All right, everyone, good evening, Happy Monday.

We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with the QAnon queen, who is now the standard bearer for the GOP, or at this point, shouldn`t we just go with the GQP? Republican Party leaders and House of Representatives have evidently abandoned any and all notions of even pretending to solve a problem, like Marjorie Taylor Greene, as the reigning Trumpian troll has sunk to her most unhinged low yet.

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has essentially been hiding amid an uproar over her latest stupid human tricks. Specifically, Margie Q`s claimed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi`s mask restrictions for the House are akin to the holocaust, the actual one during World War II.

Now, usually, I wouldn`t do this because, frankly, her voice annoys me and just about everything that she says is unhinged or dump (ph). But this time I think that you need to hear what the QAnon queen said on the Christian Broadcasting Network last week.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): This woman is mentally ill. You know, we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany. And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.


REID: Oh, Margie didn`t stop there. Confronted with the predictable outrage over her comparing her and her colleagues` refusal to get vaccinated and mandated so they remain masked on the House floor to prevent the spread of a deadly virus that some Republicans have already spread to their colleagues, compared to that to millions of Jews being forced to wear a star of David so they can be literally identified as Jews and sent the concentration camps where they would be murdered en masse by the millions by German Nazi. Marge stomped her little booted feet out on to her alternate reality America first with alleged teeny dater Matt Gaetz and doubled down.


GREENE: I stand by all my statements. I said nothing wrong. And I think any rational Jewish person didn`t like what happened in Nazi Germany and any rational Jewish person doesn`t like what is happening with overbearing mask mandates and overbearing vaccine policies.


REID: Any rational Jewish person doesn`t believe they own a space laser with which they can burn out of Americas force, dear. But, clearly, folks, we`re lacking in this moment are rational Republicans who can hear the anti-semitic dog whistle from a non-working, committee-less congresswoman who just can`t seem to stop turning Jewish people into a lump sum or parity in order to siphon off their historic victimhood for herself and her white nationalist friends. She`s not being anti-Semitic or just weird, spends a 100 percent free time being a pro-sedition racist or downright dangerous and threatening to her colleagues.

And, sadly, there are precious few, besides the usual suspects of rational Republicans, who are willing to call her out. Congressman Adam Kinzinger tweeted that her comment was absolute sickness. The recently ex- communicated Congresswoman Liz Cheney called them evil lunacy. And those two can speak up, that`s great, but they cannot actually do anything to Marge since they hold no leadership position. As you recall Cheney was just stripped of hers.

But the actual Republican Party leaders, I am looking at you, Puppet Kevin McCarthy, that could do something. Kevin could, as the American Jewish Congress has already done, state that her comments demean the atrocities of the holocaust and call on Greene to apologize and retract her statements or he can move to expel her from Congress, outright, like of petition with tens of thousands of signatures is calling for. After all, Kevin wasted no time giving Cheney the boot after she said that Margie`s golden idol has no place in the party.

So let`s hear the response to her latest from Puppet Kevin and his number two, David Duke, without the baggage, Elise -- and his number three, Elise, what do I have to say to get this power, because I really will say anything, Stefanik. Ah, that`s right, not a peep.

Joining me, Congressman David Cicilline of Rhode Island, he was an Impeachment Manager in a second Trump impeachment and former RNC Chairman and MSNBC Congress -- Columnist Michael Steele. I`m making you -- giving you all sort of new jobs.

But I`m going to go to the Congressman first, because you tweeted out some pretty strong words to what -- this utter foolishness. And I`m sorry I had to offend my viewers` ears by having to listen to Marge. But what do you make of the fact that Kevin McCarthy won`t even talk about it or say anything about it or do anything about it?

REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI): Yes. I mean, it`s disgraceful. I mean Kevin McCarthy is leader of the Republican Party in the House or at least he`s supposed to be, but he and Steve Scalise and Elise Stafanik have said nothing to condemn in any way this horrific comparison that Marjorie Taylor Greene made between the speaker following the public health guidance of the attending physician and the slaughter of 6 million Jews during the holocaust.

This is one more example of anti-Semitic comments from Marjorie Taylor Green. And Kevin McCarthy and the Republican leadership in the house seem to be fine with that. They haven`t criticized to her in anyway, suggested that she should apologize, expel her from the Republican caucus. And it`s disgraceful. And, you know, she is now the voice and leader of the Republican Party in the House, and that`s just a fact.

REID: It`s hard to argue against that, Michael. I mean, she is the leader or the party, she and Matt Gaetz, the guy out there where you have to hide your teen daughter from. They are the leaders of the party. Kevin McCarthy hides from them. He will not rebuke them. The only thing that you can do to get him to speak against you is speak against his boss, Donald Trump.

And I just want to go through for just a second. Kevin McCarthy has allowed all this staff to happen. He`s allowed Marjorie Greene`s staffer to scream at a congressman. Normally, staff don`t go up to a congressman, even talk to them. But, you know, Congressman Eric Swalwell had his mask on, steps onto the floor, an aide, not even Marjorie herself, screams at him to take the mask off. Okay, and then he said some choice words to her.

You`ve had Matt Gaetz who`s under investigation for sex trafficking a child. You`ve had Madison Cawthorn who, reports say, that he forced a woman to stay in his car and harass them when he was in college. Now, at least one person who at college with him, a woman, young woman works in the House and has to see him in the hallways and deal with him, Kevin has done nothing about that. Jim Jordan, a former Ohio wrestler, say he knew about and ignored sexual abuse by a team doctor, he`s done nothing. Lauren Boebert, who just weird and who`s out there refusing to go through House metal detectors and displaying guns openly. Mo Brooks, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar all named by Ali Alexander as helpers in plotting the insurrection, nothing, nothing, nothing. Your thoughts?

MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, what those individuals that you showed and Kevin McCarthy knows is two things. One, they`re going to raise a lot of money off of their stupid, and, two, they`re going to hold that base in place. So that as they get ramped up for the upcoming election cycles, they`ve got that terra firm ground to stand on to launch what they think is going to be a takeover of the House next year.

So that`s what`s driving a lot of this. They`re not looking to do the correct thing because the correct thing has no political upside to it. I mean, this is all politics. This has nothing to do with what the congressman would like to have a big debate on the floor about the infrastructure bill.

But let`s talk about the John Lewis Voting Rights Act so that, you know, we can all come to accommodation to get voters to the polls. None of that is going to take place, because there`s no money in that. You can`t grift that.

REID: Yes.

STEELE: That requires an honest discussion with your -- well you know, your political opponents, so it may have a different approach or a different way of solving some of these big questions.

So this is about power, 2022, getting back control, and about money. Marjorie Taylor Greene runs her flap, says the most asinine, as backwards with stupid crap on the planet and raises $3 million.

REID: But Michael let me ask you this --

STEELE: And then look at that and to, okay, is that what you do? Okay, we`ll do that.

REID: I get it, and they`ll do. But power for what? And this is what I want to ask before I go back to the congressman. Because they say that they want to have it -- they clearly -- not even say but it`s obvious that they just want power, but power to do what?

I mean, you know, Steve Scalise was revealed to have called himself David Duke. It`s not me who called him David Duke. He called himself David Duke without the baggage, and got elevated to leadership. Steve King, he took forever to run him about after him being openly white nationalist, just openly and saying there`s nothing wrong with being white nationalist. Power to do what? Do you talk to these people behind the scenes? What is it that they wanted to do with this power? Because it seems to me like all they want to do is fall on their knees and worship Donald Trump.

STEELE: Well, that`s all they can do right now. But you`ve got a running narrative going back 2012, at least, where, you know, once you grab control of the House and you start that process and go down the road. Okay, so what is your healthcare plan, what`s your infrastructure plan? Remember it was infrastructure week for almost two years, right?

So what are the big items that you philosophically want to more yourself to to go and have a conversation with the American people? Tell me what that is. There is none. But what they know is that having that power allows them to do a couple of things. One, if you`re Mitch McConnell, you get to put forward Senate nominees -- judicial nominees, right? And if you`re Kevin McCarthy, you can finally achieve your boyhood dream and become speaker of the House, to what end? There is no policy objective. So having that power really is about then what, the grift, there`s more money to be made when you have that power. It`s a self-fulfilling cycle.

REID: And that is I think that`s the point. And Congressman, do Democrats, when you are in your caucus, do you guys -- have you guys talking about this openly? Because it seems to me that Democrat keep saying they want to work with Republicans on this bill or that bill or this idea or that idea. Do you all understand that all they want is to get more money, to grift more money off of people who have been suckered into worshipping Donald Trump and to use their power to suppress votes, stop anyone from ever voting them out? Do Democrats really understand what they`re facing here?

CICILLINE: Yes, absolutely. That`s why the first bill we did was H.R.-1 to try to preserve our democracy, but Kevin McCarthy is in fight to get power, as Michael just explained. And truth be damned, you know, they have now tried to re-write history about January 6th. They refuse to support a bipartisan commission so the American people will know all of the circumstances surrounding it. They`re allowing anti-Semites and white supremacist to say and do things in their party, because they see their path to power through these folks.

And, really, if you have to wonder what they`re going to do with that party, look at what they did when they had it in the last four years. They gave a big, gigantic tax cut to the richest people in this country and biggest most profitable corporations at the expense of working people.

And so I don`t think there`s any doubt what they`re going to do with this. They`re going to serve, the special interests, they`re going to serve the interests of the former president, not the people of this country. And Kevin McCarthy ought to call on Marjorie Taylor Greene to apologize. You have to expel her from the Republican caucus and take a stand against this anti-Semitic, horrific behavior of this person.

REID: And he is not going to do that, Michael. He`s not going to do that. He`s not going to do it. I mean, you`ve got Rand Paul on the other side, in the Senate side saying I`m not going to get vaccinated, they can`t even control their own members. He`s not going to do that.

And so my question is does Kevin McCarthy, at some point, lose steam just because of his lack of -- it`s primetime - I`ll say it chicharones, the fact that you guys had nothing -- no strength, no courage.

STEELE: Joy, lose steam? You`re presuming there is steam. I mean, this is the great ruse here. Kevin McCarthy has hell bent on becoming speaker. Okay, have you talked to Donald Trump about that?

REID: Exactly.

STEELE: Because, that will mean -- hell, how that will play out. You are just a pawn in this little puppet show, baby, all right? You will carry that water. You will bend the knee and anything else should need to bend to get where you think you are going to go. And once you get there, guess what Donald Trump does in 2022, he goes, oh you know, I really think, you know, Congressman so and so who`s been a good, loyal -- I mean, look at this. Mitch McConnell says I`m not going to placate this desire to have a commission, right, and thinking that`s what Donald Trump wants. Donald Trump just called him a biatch last week, Right?

REID: Yes.

STEELE: I mean, there`s no win here for these guys. That`s the part that it`s so mind-numbingly stupid is that there is no upside. You`re doing all of this to what end? The country suffers, the party is decimated and you look like a fool or, better put, an ass.

REID: Yes.

STEELE: And so the reality of it is what`s your endgame, Kevin? Because, if you think you`re going to get caucus whipped up behind you, better talk to the folks in the freedom caucus, you better have a direct conversation with the Trump family, because all of this bending the knee is not going to necessarily bend you in the right direction.

REID: And, Congressman, I guess I`ll give you last word on this. Because as you see the Republican Party more closer to open white nationalism, racism and antidemocratic activity, basically being throwing the idea of democracy out of the window and this open anti-Semitism, that`s not a political party, right? It`s something fascistic but it`s not a political party. How to the Democrats respond to that? Go on.

CICILLINE: Yes, it`s very dangerous and we need a functioning Republican Party that can challenge our ideas, that can put forth their own ideas. This is a party now being controlled by people like Marjorie Taylor Greene and former president. That is not a party with vision for the country. And it`s also going to self-destruct.

In the meantime, we`re going to keep fighting to respond to this pandemic, to respond to the economic devastation it caused to show to the American people there is at least one political party that`s paying attention to the needs of the American people and offering real solutions.

REID: Yes. Just wait until if they -- I mean, look, Democrats better fight like hell not to lose the House. But if they do, watch Donald Trump say, I want Marjorie Taylor Greene to be the speaker, because she`s the one who really with me.


REID: Not you, Kevin. Because, Kevin, no one respects you, not even the orange guy, nobody.

CICILLINE: That`s right.

REID: Congressman David Cicilline, thank you very much. Michael Steele, my friend, thank you very much.

Up next on THE REIDOUT, the phony Arizona election audit resumes, a test run for Republicans were very clearly putting the wheels in motion across the country to steal the next election.

Plus, tonight`s absolute worst are sowing the seeds of racism down on the farm.

Also, Ronald Greene begged for his life as he was being stunned, punched and dragged by police. He later died, which police at first completely lied about and covered up. And we`re only now learning about his horrific death two years later because his family fought to get the video released.

That comes as we get ready to observe one year since George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, sparking a national reckoning on police violence against black people. We`ll have special coverage tomorrow on THE REIDOUT and all day on MSNBC.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: The fight to save our democracy from Trump`s tiny little hands involves a complex set of characters, including Congresswoman Liz Cheney, who was recently purged from her leadership position for refusing to embrace Trump`s big lie.

Yet, in a recent interview for "Axios on HBO," the right-wing never-Trumper proved that she is no hero when it comes to actually protecting American voters from the leading outgrowth of the big lie.


QUESTION: How much culpability do Republican elites have for fertilizing the soil for the big lie?

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): That is -- that`s not at all how I think about it. you won`t be surprised to hear.


CHENEY: I think that when you look at things like voter fraud, it certainly exists. I will never understand the resistance, for example, to voter I.D. I think you ought to have to show I.D. to go vote.

There`s a big difference between that and the president of the United States who loses an election after he tried to steal the election and refuses to concede, and then continues to say the election was stolen, suggesting that our democratic process is insufficient of conveying the will of the people.


REID: So, don`t count on Liz Cheney to hold her party accountable for using Trump`s big lie to make it harder for people to vote. Got it, even as a circus of fake audit -- a circus of a fake audit resumed today in Arizona, where a make believe ballot recount is occurring for the sole reason that Trump is a sore loser.

And now other states are following suit. Another third-party inspection is set to move ahead in Fulton County, Georgia, where a judge ruled absentee ballots can be unsealed. And just like that, the dominoes begin to fall.

Joining me now is Grant Woods, a former Republican attorney general of Arizona who became a Democrat during Trump`s presidency.

And, Mr. Woods, thank you so much for being here.

The -- let`s first talk about the fake audit itself. I hate calling it an audit, because it ain`t an audit. It`s just -- I don`t know what you call it.

But there was a woman from "The Washington Post" -- a reporter from "The Washington Post" went in and volunteered, a national expert on post- election audits. She was asked to be an observer of the -- of this, whatever we call this, in Maricopa County, and so she`s not a journalist. She`s a former -- she`s a national expert on post-election audits.

She writes this: "I was stunned to see spinning conveyor wheels whizzing hundreds of ballots past -- quote -- "counters," who struggled to mark on a tally sheet each voter`s selection for the presidential and Senate races. They had only a few seconds to record what they saw."

She wrote: "At one point, I overheard some volunteers excitedly discussing a stain on a ballot. `It looks like a Cheeto finger,` one said, `like someone touched it with Cheeto dust.` `It had to be suspicious,` their teammate agreed.`"

This -- it`s banana republic stuff.


REID: How worried are you that this will become the norm in any state that Republicans have control and can reproduce this mess?

WOODS: Yes, Joy, I think that`s their plan.

We talked a couple of weeks ago that, as ridiculous as this is in Arizona, and as easy as it is to lampoon them because they really are clowns, it`s a serious thing. And it`s part of an overall plan. And I think the plan, what we talked about then, is now coming true.

The plan was, let`s cast doubt on any place where Joe Biden won in a swing state.

REID: Yes.

WOODS: And if -- once they do it in Arizona, they will come up with something. I don`t know what they will come up with. But they will come up with some lame thing. And they will go, oh, see what happened in Arizona?

We better check Georgia. We better check Pennsylvania. We better -- they will go right down the line.

REID: Yes.

WOODS: And when you combine that with suppressing the vote every place that they can, then that gives them some hope that maybe they can win in the future, because they can`t win on substance.

REID: You left the Republican Party -- and you can talk about those reasons why -- but have you talked to fellow Republicans, people who might still be in the party, who -- in Arizona, who see this as a reason to just get out and say, I`m done?

WOODS: Yes, I couldn`t take it anymore. I didn`t really want to be associated with the enablers.

And I didn`t get out really because of Trump. I got out because I looked around, and there wasn`t anyone else consistently against Trump, or very few. They were just rolling over for the guy. And so, obviously, it was about power and other things, rather than true policy that they supposedly believed in all these years.

I think, right now, you have -- a lot of people have left the party. Tons of people have left the Republican Party across the country and in Arizona. There are about as many independents in Arizona now as there are in the other two parties. So there`s a lot of that going on.

There`s people like myself who switched really for Joe Biden, because we believed in Joe Biden and that sort of Democrat and have been very pleased with him. So, yes, there -- but there`s a group that`s hanging in there.

REID: Yes.

WOODS: And that`s not all bad news.

I think it`s good news, Joy, because I don`t -- good luck to them. But let`s just stay here in Arizona. Back when I was in college, they had John Rhodes.

REID: Yes.

WOODS: And Barry Goldwater went and told the president that he had to resign.

We had John McCain and the thumbs down. And now, recently, we have our whole Board of Supervisors standing up. Four of the five are Republicans, the treasurer, the reporter. We have Cindy McCain. We have Jeff Flake.

There are a lot of Arizonans who are still Republicans who are saying, no, this is no good.

And one thing I think we ought to watch for -- and I don`t know what`s going on here, but last -- at the end, the very end of last week, the Board of Supervisors here sent a preservation letter to the Arizona Senate, which you do saying, don`t get -- don`t destroy anything, everything has to be preserved in case of a lawsuit.

REID: Yes.

WOODS: That`s -- you only do that if you`re seriously contemplating a lawsuit.

REID: Yes.

WOODS: Is it possible that the Republican Board of Supervisors could sue the Senate here in federal court and try to put a stop to this thing in its tracks? I think it is possible.

So I think we have to see what`s going on here. I hope so.

REID: Yes.

WOODS: And if they won`t do it, the Justice Department ought to step in.

REID: I think that`s -- a lot of people agree with you on that.

One of the other concerns, though, is that you`re seeing people around the country who are engaged in these challenges to a long-completed election, trying to, I guess, overturn it or to just shore up those in the Republican base who believe that the election wasn`t real, then turning around and running to be the secretary of state, to replace people who might have stood up to this in 2020, and replace them with themselves.

We were talking here in the break about the term kakistocracy, government by the absolute worst people. We`re in a position now where we could start to see corrupt people who believe the big lie in charge of elections in this country.

How worried are you about something like that?

WOODS: I am going to be an optimist on that. They`re definitely trying.

Of course, they will try it. We have -- we have a really good secretary of state here in Arizona, a great secretary of state in Michigan. We saw the Republican secretary of state in Georgia, who -- not my favorite. He`s kind of a Trumper. But even he stood up and did the right thing.

I -- look, in Arizona, the person who`s now running for secretary of state was at the Capitol on January 6. He was a Donald Trump elector. And to show you -- come full circle of how bogus this alleged audit is...

REID: Yes.

WOODS: ... he was in there counting ballots during the first week, a guy whose name was on the ballot...

REID: Right.

WOODS: ... who was an insurrectionist, was there, until "The Arizona Republic" spotted him, and he got kicked out, ultimately.

So, this is how bad it is. But I`m going to have faith in the voters that they`re going to say, no, we want free and fair elections.

REID: Yes.

WOODS: And I think so. I hope we end the filibuster to pass the voting rights bill. We need to do it.

REID: Yes.

WOODS: And whether we do it or not, though, we`re just going to have to go kick these guys in the ass in every state, just like we did last time. We`re going to have to do it again.

REID: Yes, presuming that they even count the votes and recognize the outcome. So, that is the big if.

Grant Woods, thank you very much. Really appreciate you.

And still ahead: New bodycam footage of yet another fatal arrest of an unarmed black man shows police lied in their initial reporting of the death in their custody. This fits an emerging and deeply troubling pattern.

Are coordinated cover-ups like incidents like this more common than anyone is aware?

We will be right back.


REID: In President Biden`s national address last month, he urged lawmakers to pass a major police reform bill before the first anniversary of George Floyd`s death. That anniversary is tomorrow, and there`s still no deal in sight.

This comes as we`re learning more about a horrific incident of fatal police brutality towards yet another black man. Last week, the Associated Press published body camera footage from Louisiana in 2019 of the death of Ronald Greene in police custody after the 49-year-old failed to pull over for an unspecified traffic violation.

The 46-minute-long footage was obtained by the AP after authorities refused to release it for two years. Friday night, Louisiana police released nine body camera and dashcam videos, after saying the AP videos didn`t show the full context.

The videos depict police stunning, punching and choking Greene as he apologizes for leading them on a high-speed car chase.

Now, I want to warn you, the video you`re about to see is extremely disturbing.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your hands behind your back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) hands behind your back, mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Let me see your hands!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your hands behind your back (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


REID: At one point Greene tries to roll over, but was ordered to stay on his belly.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t you turn over!

GREENE: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t you turn over! You lay on your belly. Lay on your belly.


REID: As the AP story points out, police are highly discouraged from leaving handcuffed suspects in a prone position, a point made repeatedly at the Derek Chauvin trial.

One police officer, Chris Hollingsworth, was recorded on camera talking about what he had just done to Greene.


CHRIS HOLLINGSWORTH, LOUISIANA STATE MASTER TROOPER: I beat the ever living (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of him, choked him and everything else, trying to get him under control.


REID: Hollingsworth later died in a single vehicle highway crash that happened hours after he learned he would be fired for his role in the Greene case.

Ultimately, Greene was left without medical assistance for more than nine minutes. And by the time he got to the hospital, he was dead. Police initially told Greene`s family that he died on impact after crashing into a tree, which did not happen.

And just this afternoon, the AP reported on what they call the strongest evidence yet of an attempted cover-up, noting that the ranking Louisiana State Police officer at the scene falsely told internal investigators that: "The black man was still a threat to flee after he was shackled, and he denied the existence of his own body camera video for nearly two years, until it emerged last month."

Joining me now is Marq Claxton, retired NYPD detective and director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance.

And, Marq, I watched you on with my friend Alex Witt this weekend, where you called this a good old-fashioned Louisiana lynching. I have seen multiple cases, you can go back decades to cases in Miami, the Rodney King case, where a high-speed chase results in officers who are all amped up on adrenaline, who just haul off and beat the crap out of whoever it was they were chasing.

Is that what do you think happened here or something else?

MARQ CLAXTON, BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE: I think that is part of what happened here.

And I watched that video, and I became so disturbed by it that -- and I felt as if discussing it in terms of the conversation that`s around the nation about police reform was totally inadequate.

What this was, was just that, an old-fashioned Louisiana lynching. And we need to talk about it in terms of it being a crime and criminals committing this crime, this murder that occurred on videotape.

I think we can`t afford to have these discussions and oversimplify them. This was a lynching that occurred, and videotape evidence is there to support that. And the criminals should be apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Anything short of that is inadequate and insufficient.

And this is not the first time and it won`t be the last time, and it`s based on our responses to these type of incidents.

REID: And, I mean, the thing is, is that what you say is not really hyperbole. I mean, what is a lynching? It`s an extrajudicial killing by people who are hopped up on adrenaline and fueled by racial animus just decide I`m just going to kill this person.

You had one officer, who is now dead, brag that "I beat the living crap out of him." He was proud of it.

But the thing that`s even more disturbing is the lying for two years, is putting out a fake police report, saying -- telling his family he died in a car crash. How common is it, in your -- just looking at the way that these cases play out, for police to just be dishonest when they file reports when someone dies?

CLAXTON: It`s all too common. And we`re evidence of that coming out it seems like on a weekly basis.

But it also exposes what that incestuous relationship between police and prosecutors, between police agencies and law -- and the district attorney`s offices, local district attorney`s offices, how you can`t have this level of a cover-up occur, a two-year span, a period of time, and not recognize the collusion that exists and the combination of forces involved in creating this reality, this harsh reality, that places black lives in increased danger and guarantees that there will be additional loss of life.

Because how can -- how can a black man like myself and so many others really trust and feel confident that police officers are really, absolutely serving and protecting me, as opposed to lynching me or attempting to lynch me or apprehend me and do these type of things?

I mean, it`s just -- it really damages this already tenuous relationship between the black community and police.

REID: And when you talk about the collusion, it`s not even just the prosecutor. You`re talking -- I mean, the autopsy report in this case put the death down to cocaine-induced agitated delirium complicated by motor vehicle collision.

So, you have got the people who are supposed to be filing and putting together autopsies getting involved. You have, frankly, media who just accept whatever the police statement is and report out what happened to people, without questioning it too many times. I think that`s changing now.

But, in this bill, the George Floyd bill, one of the arguments is over whether there should be qualified immunity. There`s been some debate. You have some conservatives who say, don`t put it in.

But don`t you think that there has to be personal liability? I mean, should police have to take out insurance, so that they can have liability protection? Shouldn`t there be some personal liability? Because it does feel like police are very confident that they can murder anyone they want and get away with it.

CLAXTON: In the short term, the only thing that will change police behavior, that will modify police behavior is when you expose them to additional liability, to personal individual liability, when you scrape away that curtain of protection that they operate under.

And believe you me it plays into the minds of police officers. It definitely is impactful and meaningful that police officers enjoy some level of immunity.

If you want to modify behavior, you have to begin to take away those artificially created protections from police. You would end up with a more professional police officer if that`s what you`re going for.

I think most importantly, though, Joy, we got to move away from this policing model, get to a public safety model and incorporate other disciplines, other professions, other specialists into the preservation and safety and sanctity of the communities.

REID: Yeah, you`re absolutely right. By the way, excited delirium, if that sounded familiar to the viewers, it`s because it was the same thing they tried with George Floyd, trying to use drugs, all of that.

CLAXTON: Police who are affected by excited delirium. We saw the video. We heard (AUDIO GAP) words, excited delirium. They`re guilty of what they accused this dead man of, and it`s inexcusable.

REID: And last question to you, isn`t this also a war on drugs issue? That, you know, police are involved in too many things either about health crisis or they`re about mental health. They`re just involved in too many things. When you say change the whole policing model, doesn`t that mean pulling police off 80 percent of what they`re called out to do?

CLAXTON: Yeah. That means re-evaluating that which has been routine police response issues. We have to change that. It`s common sense. It`s all part of evolutionary process that`s quite necessary, especially if you`re working in the 21st century and dealing with policing which goes back to slave catching.

I mean, we can`t rely on police agencies themselves to realize they have to change. It has to be forced, has to be compelled, and sometimes legislated. That`s the importance of -- even though it`s not as significant and holistic as many wish, justice in policing act will really form the basis of further movement in policing and shifting away to public safety model.

REID: Yeah, and good police want, too, the ones who were actual professionals and are out there just wilding. Marq Claxton, thank you very much, really appreciate you being here.

Tune in tomorrow for a full day of coverage marking one year since the death of death of George Floyd, including Craig Melvin`s special presentation at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.

And up next, today`s absolute worst, you definitely don`t want to miss it.


REID: For decades, minority farmers have faced systemic discrimination. Well, next week, they just might see some relief. This weekend, Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack, along with Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, and Congressman Jim Clyburn announced that the U.S. department of agriculture was set to payoff farm loans of nearly 13,000 black, Hispanic, indigenous and other ranchers. In op-ed piece published in "USA Today", Vilsack called it major civil rights victory, because of a provision in the American relief package signed by President Biden in March.

Under the Trump administration, farmers who are hammered by Trump`s terra force received billions of dollars of pandemic relief in direct payments, but according to "New York Times," black and brown farmers received less than 1 percent of those payments. Black farmers lost 85 percent of their land due to discriminatory government and business policies. In 1920, African-Americans owned some 14 percent of the farms in United States, today, that figure is about 1.4 percent.

And because no good deed goes unpunished, several groups and individuals are outraged that the Biden administration would dare to right years of wrongs. First up, banks, yeah, the banks got a hefty chunk of taxpayer dollars in 2008 bailout. They`re offset that they won`t profit off of the loans if they`re paid off. Vilsack told the banks to buzz off.

And then there`s Stephen Miller, pulling from the white nationalist classic, defend the white Rhodesian farmer strategy, claiming that these payments are prime example of reverse racism. Miller, the forever face of hair in a can, has created a legal group that`s now suing the Biden administration to block the payments. The group filed a proposed class action lawsuit on behalf of the Texas agricultural commissioner, claiming that the loan forgiveness is unconstitutional.

And here`s the kicker, he`s filing these lawsuits while still receiving a taxpayer funded government paycheck, because like most of the Trump administration, the grift never ends. And so, to all the haters and losers and trolls, and utterly vile child caging creep Stephen Miller opposing the loans to minority farmers they richly deserve, you are the absolute worst.


REID: For many Americans, the only that way you`ve ever heard of the country of Belarus is if you were into gymnastics in the 1990s. That`s when they were best know for following the collapse of the USSR.

Since then, however, the former Soviet satellite has slipped back into authoritarian rule, much like Russia their neighbor to the east. In a flagrant attack on international air traffic yesterday, the government of Belarus hijacked a commercial airliner, forcing it to the ground, to arrest a dissident journalist who was on board.

Ryanair flight 4978 was on its way from Greece to Lithuania, when the Belarusian regime issued a fake bomb warning. They then intercepted the plane with a fighter jet and diverted it to the capital of Minsk. There, authorities detained Roman Protasevich, a 26-year-old journalist living in exile, who has emerged as one of the most prominent critics of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, commonly referred to as Europe`s last dictator.

Lukashenko has been the authoritarian leader of Belarus since 1994 and he remains in power despite a disputed election last year, no surprise. He`s also a key ally of Vladimir Putin. Just moments ago, President Biden condemned Belarus` actions as a direct affront to international norms. But this is part of a broader pattern.

As Anne Applebaum notes in the Atlantic, authoritarian states in pursuit of their enemies no longer feel they need to respect passports, borders, diplomatic customs or now, the rules of air traffic control. The price they have to pay as result in sanctions or in bad relations with the outside world clearly no longer bothers them.

And joining me now is Ann Applebaum, staff writer for "The Atlantic".

And, you know, Anne, it`s great to talk to you. Thanks for being here. There`s a video of what seems to be forced confession that has emerged of Roman Protasevich. How much danger do you think this young man is in?

ANNE APPLEBAUM, THE ATLANTIC STAFF WRITER: He maybe in really very serious. This is a regime was known for many years as a kind mild dictatorship. There wasn`t much protest, but there wasn`t much violence. But in the last year, there have been explosion of violence, explosion of protests, people tortured in prison there.

Ten days ago, another young dissident died at prison, supposedly from heart problems, but who knows? The regime has made clear that it`s interested in arresting anybody anywhere. It`s issued threats to people who live abroad. It`s accused them of terrorism and extremism even though they`re out of the country, and Roman Protasevich is absolutely right to be terrified.

I mean, it`s -- he was flying home from Greece to where he lives in Lithuania. The plane was brought down specifically to arrest him, for no other reason, and he has every reason to think his life might be in danger.

REID: And you`ve seen the sort of Russian model reaching beyond borders for people seen as dangerous to the regime, jailing, you know, opposition parties, declaring those parties to be terrorist groups. What does it mean that the country like Belarus is going in that direction?

APPLEBAUM: Well, you`re absolutely right, it`s part of a pattern. You know we see it from Russia. We see it actually from China. We see it from Iran.

More and more, with the world`s autocracies work together, they coordinate their actions and also they`re finding ways to reach across borders, so to arrest or kidnap or to assassinate people who live abroad. To send message nobody is safe, even living in democracy, even if they have a different passport, even if they`re flying on a commercial airliner. Moment is coming democracies need to work together to find ways to block them.

And we really lost four years during the Trump administration, this was not an issue that interested Trump. He was -- he was interested in being friends with autocrats, liked being seen with them and talking to them, he wasn`t interested in working with democracies. And this is a -- this is a policy we have to return to if we want our citizens to be safe.

REID: To say nothing of Saudi Arabia who, you know, killed somebody who`s living in the United States as journalist and there was nothing done. I worry about this and one of the reasons I want to do this story is that I worry that we have a political party inside of our country that is trending in the direction of autocracy, of wanting basically to be like Alexander Lukashenko or wanting to let Trump be like him.

Is that hyperbolic for me to worry that the Republican Party is becoming -- at least in terms of eternal rule for themselves and this sort of kakistocracy is going in that direction, too?

APPLEBAUM: I mean, we`re not at the level of Belarus and we shouldn`t make that comparison. It`s a little early. But I think you`re right that the administration for strong men, that the desire for getting things done swiftly, even if it cuts corners, that the belief that some people deserve to rule and some don`t, despite what voters do. I remember this again, the dictator of Belarus held an election last summer and cheated, won by not counting all the votes.

Those are worrying tendencies, and democracies work by consensus. They work by respect for the rule of law and they work because people respect each other. They respect the other political parties and they think they also have a right to rule. And seeing those tendencies appear to any degree in any democracy, especially ours is, you`re right, it`s worrying, and particularly at this moment in history.

REID: Yeah. Especially since it seems Eastern Europeanization of the Republican Party, it`s odd.

I`ve just done reading President Biden`s statement about what`s happened in Belarus, the E.U. seems to be moving to do something, I guess sanctions. We were trying to look up quickly where Belarus exports to. Can sanctions do anything to curb this do you think?

APPLEBAUM: I mean, the country is in very bad economic state, partly because of the events last summer and resultant withdrawal of business. What the E.U. has just said is that they`re going to cut off all flights to Belarus. Their airline can`t fly to Europe and European airlines will not be flying there and that will cut off the country and it will have an impact. It will be noticed.

You know, whether that`s enough over time, whether there`s sanctions on oil and gas exports or other kinds of exports, we`ll see. I mean, there`s a flood of people coming out of the country as political refugees, and business refugees as well. People are desperately trying to leave. You may see a refugee problem sooner or later as well.

REID: Yeah, and to say nothing of the fact that they may not be safe leaving, which is really frightening. I guess the one piece of good news is that at least have a president that won`t try to cuddle up to Mr. Lukashenko and idolize him. Anne Applebaum, thank you very much for being here.

That is tonight`s REIDOUT.